Sometimes women who have not reached menopause will experience excessive menstrual blood loss either during their regular periods or when their periods last over seven days at a time. When medications cannot correct the bleeding, your doctor may recommend an endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure to remove the lining of your endometrium, also called the uterus.
Before your Victorville General Surgeon schedules the procedure, you may need to take a pregnancy test, be tested for endometrial cancer, or have an intrauterine device (IUD) removed if you have one. Other considerations that will determine whether an endometrial ablation is a viable solution for your personal situation are:
- Any uterus abnormalities
- Any risk for uterine cancer
- Any current pelvic infection
- Any plans for future pregnancies
Your surgeon will inform you about:
- How to prepare for your procedure
- What complications may occur
- How to care for yourself after the procedure
- When you can expect the return of normal or lighter menstrual bleeding
Types Of Endometrial Ablation
Your surgeon will insert slender rod-shaped instruments into your cervix to widen the area so the surgeon can perform the ablation. There are six endometrial ablation options that your surgeon will consider when determining the most effective one for you. Not every option requires general anesthesia, but if your ablation procedure does, you will be asleep and not feel any pain. The endometrial ablation options are:
- Cryoablation: Your surgeon uses a thin probe to place extreme cold on your uterine tissue to eliminate the lining, and it does not require general anesthesia. The doctor applies the extreme cold in a series of freeze cycles, and each cycle takes about 6 minutes. A medical technician places an ultrasound monitor on your stomach to guide the probe and let your surgeon track the progress. The number of required cycles is determined by the shape and size of your uterus. Your doctor removes the probe when the endometrium is destroyed.
- Free-Flowing Heated Fluid: Your surgeon circulates heated saline fluid around the inside of your uterus until the fluid destroys the lining. This treatment takes 10 minutes and does not require general anesthesia.
- Microwave: Your surgeon inserts a slender probe that emits microwaves to heat and destroy the endometrium. This treatment does not require general anesthesia, takes 3 to 5 minutes for completion, and the surgeon removes the probe when finished.
- Heated Balloon: Your surgeon places a balloon-shaped device into your uterus and fills it with a hot liquid to destroy the endometrium. This treatment does not require general anesthesia, takes 2 to 12 minutes for completion, and the surgeon removes the balloon when finished.
- Radiofrequency Energy: Your surgeon inserts a flexible instrument into your uterus that emits radiofrequency energy that destroys the endometrial tissue. This treatment does not require general anesthesia, takes 1 to 2 minutes for completion, and the surgeon removes the instrument when finished.
- Electrosurgery: Your surgeon inserts a resectoscope into your uterus and passes a heated, slender wire loop through the resectoscope to see and remove the endometrium. This treatment requires general anesthesia, which may take 30 minutes or longer to remove the lining tissue, and the surgeon removes the instruments when finished.